The Barber Family Travels to Syracuse, 1926

228 Delaware Street Leoria visited in 1926

Claude, Leoria, and Betty Jeanne travel to Syracuse to visit the Sidney Carpenter family. Six-month-old Chauncey Claude Barber, Junior stays at home with one of the grandparents, either Lovina Wilbur or Camilla Barber. The Barbers’ destination is 228 Delaware Street where the Carpenter family resides.

Sidney Carpenter was a foreman for The Fairbanks Company while he lived in Binghamton, most likely he worked with Fred, Claude’s father. However, the Carpenter family moves to Syracuse after 1922 where Sidney is now a manager.

Burton Carpenter
Burton C. Carpenter, Claude’s high school friend

Burton, their son, is a former classmate of Claude’s at Binghamton Central High School. Both graduated in 1922. Claude joins IBM(ITR), gets married, buys a house, and starts a family.  Burton attends Syracuse University for electrical engineering while working as a clerk.

His graduation is in 1926, perhaps at the traditional time of year, June. The April visit from Leoria, Claude, and Betty Jeanne likely predates that event, but Burton Carpenter will start a professional job which takes him to Ohio, too far for visits from the Barber family.

Later in his career, Burton Carpenter becomes the manager of the Niagara Mohawk Power Company Rome District. From 1941 where he serves until he transferring to the Utica office in 1945.

Four years following this trip, Leoria and Claude have a son they name Burton after his high school friend. Burton Carpenter’s namesake, Burton Barber, also leaves Binghamton for Rome in 1956. They do not live there at the same time, however, Burton Carpenter settles in Syracuse just forty-five minutes away.


  1. Were either or both Burton’s aware of the other’s nearby home?
  2. Did Burton Carpenter attend Burton Barber’s funeral in 1964? He did not sign the condolence book from what I see. Leoria was at the funeral, she would have known him. Claude died in 1954.



  1. Syracuse Journal, Tuesday, April 14, 1926
  2. U.S. City Directory, Syracuse, New York, 1924
  3. Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, N.Y., Saturday, May 8, 1971
  4. Binghamton Central High School, 1922 Annual, Panorama, p. 31


Claude Barber, 1954 Denver Trip

Binghamton to DenverClaude is at the Denver Convention Of the Men’s Garden Club with one other delegate and two alternates. It ends June 11th.

  • Claude Barber
  • Frank A. West


  • Don C. Hotchkin, Binghamton
  • Ford S. Norton, Chenango Bridge


  1. Do they fly? If so, it probably takes much longer then than today.
  2. Does this trip impact Claude’s health negatively resulting in a heart attack within two weeks?


Justus C Hyde Passport Pic 1917
C. Claude’s Uncle Justus Chauncey Hyde, 1917 Passport Photo

Twenty-four years earlier, Chauncey Claude’s uncle on his mother’s side, Justus Chauncey Hyde, died suddenly of a heart attack at about the same age. Justus was a career teacher in the Brooklyn school system and active in his church, St. Mark’s Methodist Episcopal Church. He passed away less than two weeks after the marriage of his only child, Ruth. Family and friends were shocked by both instances of the early death of such active men.


  1. The Binghamton Press, Fri., June 11, 1954
  2. New York Evening Post, Wednesday, November 5, 1930

Wedding, August 5, 1950

Homer Avenue Methodist Church
Homer Avenue Methodist Church, Google Maps 2017

wedding day aug 5 1950 Hillcrest Methodist Church
Miss Lucille K. Newport, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Newport of Port Dickinson, N.Y., marries Burton Barber of Binghamton, N. Y. The wedding takes place on Saturday, 3:45 p.m. at the Homer Avenue Methodist Church in Cortland, N.Y. on August 5, 1950. Rev. Lullus D. Bell from the Geneva, New York First Methodist Church performs the ceremony.




Minister who married Mom and dad
Lullus Bell, 1925

Rev. Bell is a 1925 graduate of Syracuse University, my alma mater. The picture right is from his college yearbook.

Hotel Cortland
Hotel Cortland, the mid-1940s

Mr. and Mrs. Harold Whiting of Geneva, Burton’s mother, Leoria and his step-father, are the attendants.  A bridal dinner held at the Hotel Cortland precedes a wedding trip.

The routes the parties travel are below:

Map Moms Wedding


  1. Was that Leoria Whiting’s pastor from Geneva?
  2. Did Leoria play the organ for the Geneva First Methodist Church?
  3. Did she play it for the wedding?
  4. Who else was there?
  5. Did they choose the location because it was half way or because Carolyn is in college at Cortland?
  6. Did Carolyn Barber attend?
  7. Where did they go on their wedding trip?


Cortland Standard, Cortland, N. Y., Tuesday Evening, August 8, 1950

Claude Barber, Garden Club, 1953

Claude Garden Club 1953
C. Claude Barber, secretary, Men’s Garden Club of Broome County for 1954


At the end of 1953, Claude is elected secretary of the Men’s Garden Club of Broome County. The Sunday paper features an article and question forum by the members. This photo is next to it.

There is no indication he is ill just months before his death.

Others in photo:

Frank E. Brimmer, President, Vestal
Donald C. Hotchkin, first vice-president
Zenus G. Barnum, treasurer, Oakdale


The Sunday Press, Binghamton, N.Y., Page 15-C, December 20, 1953.

Claude and Leoria Barber, 1933

jackson heights 1933
Jackson Heights, Long Island, Google Maps, 2017

Jackson Heights, a planned community with green space developed beginning in 1916, is the place for families to escape New York City. By the early 1930s when the Barber family moves there, garden apartments are new and inviting with large corner windows to brighten the apartment. The Barbers join thousands of other young families living in the community.

I remember little about my father’s life in NYC, probably because he was too young himself at the time to have stories. Leoria told of the time her dress “went over her head” in Manhattan, possibly memorable because her Victorian parents would have found that unbearable. She let us know with a smile, the ultimate rebellion, I suppose.

Although the family lives on Long Island, their youngest child, Richard is born in Binghamton at the Wilson Memorial hospital. The event is published in The Binghamton Press, December 13, 1933.


  1. Wikipedia, Jackson Heights, Queens
  2. The Binghamton Press, Wednesday Evening, December 13, 1933, page 10

Claude Barber, Life Club, 1921

1921 Life Club Claude Barber
1921 BCHS Life Club
Claude Barber 1922 Graduate Central High
Claude Barber Senior Picture

Claude is not found on any class list for 1921; however, we know he graduates in 1922 makes him a junior in the photo above. Of course, since there is no key, we are just assuming he is in the photo since he is present as an active member in the Life Club list. See if you can locate him using his senior picture (right) as a reference.

The club began experimenting with topics of discussions that would appeal to young men this year. One of these is “What makes a man a success?” Also, a guest speaker, Mr. D. F. McClelland gives a presentation on India which follows up with donations from the young men to help send a relief worker to India. Civil unrest organized by Ghandi against British rule included a boycott of the Prince of Wales’ visit. As the transition begins to self-rule, suffering increases among the poor a plight Mr. McClelland is familiar with after spending three years among the citizens of that country.

In addition to their charitable work, the members of the Life Club hold the Annual Life Club Ladies’ Night at the high school.

Question: Did Leoria Wilbur accompany Claude Barber to that dance?


  1. High School Panorama, Vol. XXVIII, Binghamton, N.Y., MCMXXI
  2. The Panorama Annual, Vol. XXXI, Binghamton Central High School, Binghamton, New York
  3. The Binghamton Press, Friday Evening, March 15, 1929, page 10.

Leoria Wilbur, BCHS Freshman, 1920


leoria freshman 1920 guess
Binghamton Central High School, Freshman Girls, 1920


Leoria Wilbur may or may not be in the picture above. I circled one of the young ladies I think may be her. The photo was taken just months before her father (adoptive grandfather) passes away. She later tells stories of his strict nature and as a long time truant officer for the Binghamton schools, no doubt she attended school regularly with illness being the only excuse for absence.

During the 1919-1920 school year, Leoria starts at 15 years old, and turns 16 in December. She is no longer in grammar/middle school. She is a high school freshman. The age at which she starts first grade is no known, but it seems she may have gone at seven, explaining her age for 9th grade accompanied by the late in the year birthday.

We know she quit school after one more year. The former truant officer is no longer in the home to support the family and encourage his daughter (adoptive granddaughter to finish. Leoria is an accomplished organist and now she plays weddings to help make ends meet. Her society mother, Lovina, takes in sewing, making her living in her sixties as she did when a young girl. There are no maids and gardeners to help with daily house work. Of course, Leoria quit school in 1921.



Claude Barber, 1940

1940 census
By 1940, our family census page is no longer populated with farmers. They have moved to the city, most a generation earlier following World War I.

Leoria grew up in a comfortable middle to upper middle-class home. Her parents (adoptive grandparents) owned their home as did Claude’s family. Leoria’s childhood home was large for the time and they employed a maid, and possibly a gardener. The Wilburs can afford more than most since they were older. As an elected truant officer, which is a member of the board, he has a well-paid position.

Claude’s father, Fred, is a skilled laborer who works as a machinist, sometimes listed as a mechanic, for a factory. With three children to raise, as younger parents than Leoria’s are, and a blue collar job, Claude’s childhood is solidly middle class. His grandparents were farmers whereas Leoria’s grandparents are her adoptive parents which means she is raised in a home two generations from the farm.

The Claude Barber family is moving up. Claude is a serviceman for IBM on the tabulating machine. His salary is $2,664, $400 more than a high school teacher who is six years older than him, and about half of what the private practice doctor, his age, on the census page earn. The value of their home is $5,000 which when adjusted for inflation, still retains that equivalent. Contrast the Binghamton, NY real estate market with Riverside, CA where a home built in 1935 for $3,500 now sells for eight times as much.

Other fun facts:

  • Claude, Sr., Carolyn, and Burton were  born in Connecticut. Carolyn and Burt in Bridgeport, and Claude in Fairfield. Everyone else is born in Broome County, New York.
  • Their daughter, Leoria Carolyn, is the third successive generation of daughters with that name.
  • Leoria, completed through her second year of high school.
  • Claude completed four years of high school.
  • Daughter Betty Jean, known as Jean to us, is a junior at 15.
  • Claude, Jr. and Fred are in the same grade at school, but they are not twins.






Claude Barber, Garden Club, 1954

The Binghamton Press, Wednesday, May 19, 1954

Open-minded! I think I am. I try to be. I want to be.

However, a 1954 mention of Claude Barber was overlooked because of the date. I never opened it until today. It tells us about his plans. It is not an another obituary as I anticipated. In addition, the information I previously did not know about Binghamton, NY, surprises me.

At the May 18th, 1954 Broome County Men’s Garden Club meeting, the group votes to join the Roberson Memorial . The mansion opens to the public that year following the desire of Alonzo Roberson to found an “educational center…for the use and benefit of all people”. Today it is known as Roberson Museum and Science Center, greatly expanded from the home over the past sixty years, as a result of sponsorships from corporations, individuals, and local garden clubs such as the Broome County association. The Men’s Garden Clubs of America continue to be a charitable organization promoting education and science for the gardening enthusiasts.

Claude, along with Frank West are chosen as delegates to the national convention in Denver, CO June 8-11 following a group picnic at Dr. Clement G. Bowers’ home in Maine, NY on June 5th. He passes away just three weeks following the trip which I assume he took. Questions: Did he actually go? Did he fly or take a train? Could he have developed a blood clot during a long trip that then triggered a heart attack?

Others mentioned:

  • Frank West
  • Donald Hotchkin
  • Ford Norton
  • John L’Hommedieu
  • Clement G. Bowers
  • Rupert Syles
  • Dr. Albert Standfast








Claude Barber, 1954

claude obituary

The Binghamton Press, Wednesday, June 30, 1954

Generally, on my daily searches for Claude Barber, this is the first article that appears. I’ve been avoiding writing about his death, but chronological order aside, Memorial Day is fitting for a post about the man who signed up to be a soldier in his 40s.

Both my grandparents were gone before I could know them, now I just know of them. My mother in her 80s now gets upset when I ask for stories about my father and his family since he died so tragically, and young.  There is so little personal history.

Claude has a heart attack, whether it is on Monday or previously, he does not survive. Was he at work? Is this a genetic condition? He is only 52 and questions are numerous.

Alice, his second wife of eleven years survives him, as do his six children:

  • Claude, Jr of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I wonder how he chose this city? Was he stationed there in the Navy? Did he meet his wife through a shipmate from Milwaukee?
  • Fred, of Chenango Forks
  • Burton of Binghamton
  • Richard of Binghamton
  • Jean of Okinawa. Jean and her Marine husband are stationed in Okinawa following WWII.
  • Caroline of Jacksonville, Florida. Caroline’s husband is training as a pilot in the Navy.

Claude’s father, Fred Vernon Barber is living in Oxford, New York. His sister, Harriet resides in San Andreas, California and Frances is with her husband in Heidelberg, Germany. In 1954, the effects of the war that ended nine years earlier are still obvious with the worldwide postings in just this family.

For a young man, he has thirteen grandchildren already. Several more will be born in the next twenty-five years.

Claude’s life spans three major events: World War I, The Great Depression, and World War II. He is too young to be drafted or enlist in WWI. He does register for WWII which I think prompts his hasty divorce from Leoria and subsequent marriage to Alice.

The young Barber family escapes the devastating effects of the depression. Claude either works at IBM (ITR at that time) during high school or right after he graduates to reach the thirty-one-year career.

His memberships include:

  • IBM Quarter Century Club
  • IBM Second Generation Club (What is this? I can find no information on it.)
  • St. Mark’s Lodge 1001
  • F&AM Otseningo Bodies, AASR
  • Men’s Garden Club of Broome County, secretary

Rev W Paul Thompson
The funeral takes place at 3 p.m. at the Ivan A. Barber & Son Funeral Home, 428 Main Street, Johnson City with Rev. W. Paul Thompson of the Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church officiating.

St. Mark’s Lodge conducts ritualistic services which I know nothing about and would like to know more.



Claude Funeral
Burial is in Vestal Hills Memorial Park where several members of his family are and will be interred, including his son, Burton just a few years later.